How to kick-start your cloud career: Tips from an IT Recruiter
There has never been a better time to start an I.T or cloud career in Australia! Whether you’ve just graduated from university, are looking to transition from another career, or want to get back into the workforce there are more opportunities than there have ever been. Unprecedented demand for I.T skills, skills shortages, and limited overseas immigration has meant that employers have never been more willing to offer entry-level I.T opportunities and provide the necessary support to help new employees develop their skills.
From technical coding opportunities to project services and consulting roles, some of the most in-demand skillsets in the I.T market are cloud skills. While there are a range of cloud offerings that organisations use, skills on public cloud platforms such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, and GCP (Google Cloud Platform) are the most commonly sought after by employers.
Regardless of the direction you want to take in your new I.T career, skills on these cloud platforms are transferrable and will help you stand out to employers and IT Recruiters.
Where to start
Understanding cloud offerings are complementary to most I.T roles, but can also be the basis of particular roles like Site Reliability Engineers, DevOps Engineers, and Cloud Engineers.
Like many I.T areas, there are great, free resources online that you can use to start your learning journey. AWS (https://aws.amazon.com/training/digital/aws-cloud-practitioner-essentials/), Azure (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/azure-fundamentals/) and GCP (https://cloud.google.com/training) all offer online introduction courses free of charge which offer a good place to start. Platforms such as Udemy, Pluralsight, and Coursera provide some free cloud fundamental courses.
These courses are built for beginners and are a great way to start learning. Once you understand the basics there are a number of next steps you can take.
Show off your new skills!
If you are looking to apply for cloud or I.T related roles it is important that you demonstrate your knowledge and learning to potential employers and peers. Once you have put in the hard work to pick your new cloud skills it is important to list completed training and certifications in your resume and LinkedIn profile.
One option to demonstrate you really understand the platform/s of your choice is getting certified. AWS (AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner), Azure (Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals) and GCP (Cloud Digital Leader) all provide recognized certifications in which you must successfully pass an exam. While taking these exams does cost money, they are well regarded by employers and are a good way to demonstrate you have put in the time to understand the platforms.
If you are pursuing programming roles, another option is incorporating cloud hosting and tools on AWS, Azure, or GCP into your code projects. Talk about how you have configured the cloud instance, or what other platform tools you have utilised to help in your project. If you are stuck for ideas, run a search like ‘cloud code project’ and pick an idea that works best for you.
Once you are happy with the code project you should share it publicly on a platform like GitHub. This will allow people to see your work and provide feedback on it. Linking to your GitHub (or similar) via your LinkedIn and resume is a great way to demonstrate your dedication and interest in these platforms to potential employers.
It is important to know that code projects do not need to be ‘finished’ to share them. Just make sure you are clear about what you set out to achieve, where you got to, and how you got to that point.
Get involved in the community
Like most things these days if you look online there are many great free events and meetups that you can get involved in. These offer great opportunities to learn in more depth, but also the chance to meet people working in these industries. AWS, Azure, and GCP usually run conferences annually (online currently, but in-person when restrictions allow) and sites like Meetup (www.meetup.com) are a great way to find groups based out of your city or country that meet regularly to discuss new features and give demonstrations on these platforms. Many people find the concept of networking intimidating and difficult. Attending these events/ sessions is a great way to getting to know professionals in the field in an organic way and help build deeper relationships with them than you would if you just reached out over LinkedIn.
Just like any profession, trying to find your first job in the cloud or I.T space can take a while. These first steps are a good place to start and will help open up more opportunities for you.
Written by Hugh Morris-Dalton